FIFTY SHADES OF C.P.: C.P. Company unveiled the last of its celebratory projects on the first day of Milan Men’s Fashion Week, taking over the industrial Base venue with an exhibition retracing material and dyeing innovations that defined its 50-year history.
Throughout 2021 the brand, known for pioneering the garment-dyeing technique in the ’70s and having helped define the notion of Italian sportswear — filled with military and utilitarian references — as it’s known today, released almost monthly drops of new cobranded or special merchandise, collaborating with the likes of Patta, Sebago, Barbour, Adidas Spezial and Emporio Armani.
The exhibition, called “Cinquanta: A Retrospective on 50 Years of Sportswear Innovation by C.P. Company,” retraced the brand’s textile-driven and innovative bent, showing a selection of more than 70 items drawn from its 30,000-piece archive.
Flattened inside paper-thin glass cases, each prototype came with detailed descriptions of what made them innovative.
Lorenzo Osti, son of the company’s founder and company president since 2019, said “each of the 10 projects we did in 2021 established a dialogue and celebrated one of the aspects connected to the brand; they represented several meaningful views on the company, while the exhibit is more about celebrating the brand in its entirety.”
Paying homage to a 50-year history is no easy task, and Osti admitted he may need some rest after the showcase wraps on Monday, but he is motivated to keep going.
C.P. Company’s 50th anniversary exhibition.
Courtesy of C.P. Company
The brand is seeing rapidly growing sales in new markets, including France, where the underground hip-hop scene is embracing the label. This has triggered the entrepreneur to secure a premium spot in Marseille to open a flagship, which will bow in the spring. London comes next with an opening slated for July, while the company is holding talks for premium spots in Amsterdam and Manchester.
He forecast sales could top the 100 million euro threshold next year, but he plans to use 2022 to better understand where the brand is headed and what is drawing consumers to it, “turning them into loyal and returning clients.”
Over five decades, C.P. Company has attracted international youth subcultures, become recognizable for its “goggle jacket” introduced in 1988 and has most recently entered a new phase of its development strategy under Chinese owner Tristate Holdings Ltd.